152 Transcript

152 The One Where We Talk More About Legionella


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scaling up
[Music]
hello scaling up nation trace blackmore
here your host for
scaling up h2o of course
your favorite water treatment podcast
and nation we are right smack dab in the
middle
of august which means it is
self-proclaimed
who’s it proclaimed by well the scaling
up nation of course
legionella awareness month
legionella is one of those things that
if you are in
industrial water treatment you just need
to know about
and i truly feel that the more that we
as professional water treaters know the
more that we can
educate people that can make a change
in their water systems so the whole
month
is dedicated to that and today
we are talking about testing
lots of questions about different types
of tests that are out there so what i’ve
done is i’ve contacted some people that
manufacture
these different types of tests and by
different
i mean tests that aren’t considered the
gold standard but who knows
maybe someday they will be the gold
standard but nation as we know
there are different tests out there
besides
culturing which is considered the gold
standard
and those tests do have some application
depending on what you were using for
even though
today right now they are not considered
the gold standard
as things go on who knows that might
change but it’s important for us to know
the different techniques that are
out there and why we would choose one
over the other and what we need to do
with the results of those tests so again
whole month all about legionella
awareness
and today we are talking to greg rankin
ceo of hydrosense and
he is going to talk about the test that
his
company has developed so nation please
help me welcome
greg rankin ceo of hydrosense
my lab partner today is greg rankin of
hydrosense greg
how are you today very well trace thanks
for having me
absolutely and i can’t help but notice
but you don’t sound like you’re from the
states
no i’m not actually i’m uh i’m actually
sitting in edinburgh scotland as we’re
recording this right now
i had the fortune to go to scotland
this april and i got to tell you i have
never seen a landscape
like that it was some of the most
beautiful
landscape and and nature and hiking
and animals you guys got some weird cows
over there i got to say that too
but it was just amazing i can’t wait to
go back well it’s great to hear tracy
yeah obviously i’m a bit biased but uh i
do love it i think it’s a you know it’s
a pretty special place um
go to lots of fascinating places but
it’s always uh it’s always great to come
home the scenery is really something
else
i think two of my favorite places was in
isle of skye
we hiked the ferry pools oh wow and that
was just incredible
and then of course touring the spa river
and seeing
all the wonderful scotches and how they
are made and being able to sample some
of those i might add
yeah no i can imagine it’s great to see
how they’re made but obviously the
sample room at the end really uh
caps it off what’s your favorite scotch
mine’s actually one from
isla which is a little island uh just a
bit south of sky
and it’s called lagerbulin like a born
16 year old by far my favorite favorite
very smoky i actually found my new
favorite scotch and it’s hard to get
here
actually i had to get it from an
importer but uh glenn farkles
have you had that yeah absolutely very
nice probably a lot easier to get over
there than it is over here
i’m sure yeah so greg obviously today
we’re going to talk
about legionella but i want the scale
and up nation to know
who is talking to them about legionella
so do you mind telling us a little bit
about yourself
yeah certainly trace um my name is greg
rankin i am the ceo of hydrosense i have
been
working i guess in high-tech companies
of a variety of high-tech companies in
uh senior roles for
many years i i started in software and
uh been in
all sorts of different forms of
innovative technology
uh since then and uh you know come into
the water industry
looking to move hydrosense forward
became ceo
uh last year and you know we’ve got some
fantastic
uh fantastic technology it’s the world’s
first
or and only rapid on-site test for
legionella can tell
you whether you’ve got legionella
bacteria in your water within
25 minutes and that kind of mirrors what
i’ve done in the rest of my career
um you know taking a very unique uh kind
of
piece of technology uh that that solves
a really uh
critical business need for uh for a
particular industry and then
um making it uh very successful and
getting it widely adopted
and you know that’s really what i’m uh
interested in
um doing you know for the water industry
i think uh
testing is a fantastic way of ensuring
safety for people in the war industry
the war industry itself is
you know really uh incredible industries
lots of innovation going on right now
and lots of interest in uh solving
problems in a different way which is
uh tremendously encouraging as well
so yeah that’s really you know my
background very much uh different types
of technology and very much about
uh you know moving technology and
bringing uh helping industries move
forward with it and that’s uh really
what i’m trying to do here at hydrosense
and
helping i’m very proud to be part of the
war industry and
uh the efforts that they’re putting in
place to help protect people
greg we’re going to be talking all over
legionella today
and we have to have a starting point so
with that why don’t we get the scaling
up nation up to speed and i got to tell
you if they don’t know what legionella
is by now i don’t know what rock that
they’ve been living under
but let’s start there what the heck is
legionella
sure so um so legionella is a bacteria
the funny thing is it’s been with us for
millions of years but uh until
july 1976 we really didn’t have a lot of
evidence of uh you know
there might be a big problem but at the
58 convention of the american legion
uh which was held at a hotel uh the
bellevue stratford in philadelphia
um some a lot of people started falling
ill by the 27th of july
the first death was reported and there
were ultimately there were 221 pneumonia
cases
and 34 deaths and this cause was a real
mystery
and um it it took a long
time in fact it took until january of
the following year when
dr joseph mcdade the cdc managed to
isolate the bacteria
um that was responsible from clinical
samples
and then that bacterium was also
isolated from the
hotel’s cooling tower water so
it was only at that point they realized
that pneumonia had been caused by
bacteria and it had been caused
by something within the environment of
the hotel and
ultimately then the realization came
about that droplets containing that
bacteria
um were the problem and the inhalation
of them in and around the hotel
were the cause and in fact in that case
72 cases were patients that didn’t even
attend the convention or even go into
the hotel so
um you know it became obvious that it
was a really quite a
a dangerous bacterium and a dangerous
problem
so um at that point it was named
legionella and yamaphila
partially in in honor of the uh
unfortunate
legionnaires that died in that in that
area
so i mean since since then um that
bacterium has
you know been studied widely and they’ve
discovered that there’s many others not
just
within the there’s actually many others
within the legionella family
in fact there’s about um 60 species and
70 serogroups within that
but only half about half of those cause
any form
of disease and most of it is non-serious
the one other notable is legionella long
beachio which is a
a dangerous species that’s found in soil
and in fact is one of the major causes
of legionnaires disease in australia
where it is uh is much more common but
most
of the most virulent species are
water-based
and the the most dangerous of all of
those water-borne species is really
uh legionella and hemophilia which is
the principal
focus for most investigations and is
certainly
the cause of most of the disease and the
vast majority of human deaths as well
well a couple of years ago ashrae came
out with
their standard on water management plans
and cdc was involved with that and cdc
of course has
their toolkit and they recommend
that you come up with a plan and
normally those plans
contain control measures but also
testing i think the water treatment
industry has done a good job
talking about the control measures and
things that you should do
and if this this is how you should act
to that
but i don’t think that there’s widely
enough information out there when it
comes to testing so i was hoping
that we could help clear that up for the
nation
and talk a little bit about testing why
it’s so important what the different
tests
are out there and then what are some
things that we should be doing
as water treatment professionals when it
comes to testing
sure no absolutely that’s a really
interesting question trace i mean at the
end of the day
you people might say well well why test
and in fact in
in some of the documentation it’s often
marked down as
something you can do optionally my
personal feeling is
it it’s really a necessity to test
i’ll tell you a few reasons why i mean
well the first thing to bear in mind is
that
legionella bacteria is practically
ubiquitous if you
do pcr dna testing in
practically every watercourse on earth
virtually every freshwater course will
have it
the vast majority of them globally will
have a form of legionella in the water
so
it’s going to get into water systems
unless you run a completely
sterile and completely closed system so
the question that everybody’s probably
asking when they hear
the term and everybody’s heard it that
legionella is ubiquitous so
why test for it so legionella in the
natural environment is not really a
significant risk
the reason being that the num the
quantity of the bacteria per liter
is extremely small the bacterium doesn’t
uh breed very rapidly
at lower temperatures as well that’s one
of the things that
controls it in the natural environment
so it really becomes much more dangerous
when legionella gets into
water systems managed water systems in
the built environment where
the right kind of temperature incline
might
allow it to succeed uh
and grow rapidly and also
the um the the exposure to
humans and and the creation of um
aerosolized water
uh that can be exposed to humans is is
much more
is much greater so so when the bacteria
gets into
the managed environment as we know then
it can become
much more risky so it’s really about i
guess the answer to your question is
it’s really about the population of
legionnaire
the sheer volume of it that makes it a
greater risk
so as well as allegiance being
practically ubiquitous it’s also
extremely
resilient one of the things that i find
fascinating about the bacterium is that
um if it’s shocked so for instance if
there’s a heat treatment on the water
system
or there’s a new an introduction of a
high level of biocide
then the bacterium can go into a viable
but non-culturable form
where effectively it’s like a cyst to
all intents and purposes it appears to
be dead
but when it comes into an environment
where there
is where the heat is reduced or when new
nutrients
are are introduced to the water then
that viable but non-culturable
dormant form of the bacterium can come
back to life
and can infect people and can
unfortunately
cause legionnaires disease that that can
kill and so
the fact that it can go into these forms
and become dormant in them when it
becomes shocked through biocide or or
heat treatment means that uh
systems are very very it’s very very
hard to eradicate them
uh these bacterium from uh from a system
as possible from to come back
at a later stage even if you feel like
you’ve pushed the system completely
and also it can hide in biofilm it
typically will uh live
in biofilm and find uh the
find uh amoeba upon which it uh
it’s a parasite of meatband so i can
often find the amiibo within the biofilm
and it could also
when it’s in that biofilm it can be
resistant to bio-size and heat
treatments because it’s protected from
them
in that environment so ultimately
um total eradication and complete
sterility of water managed water systems
isn’t really
practical uh therefore and and to
typical
uh controls and treatments and risk
management techniques
will never be 100 effective therefore
i would posit that it’s an absolute
necessity
to do testing in order to fully manage
the risk
and i think trace one of the one of the
most interesting things
if we look at there’s a very very
wide-ranging study that came from
cdc and causes of outbreaks in north
america
across 2000 to 2014 and
within that they noted that process
failures
were the the cause of an outbreak in 65
percent of cases human error is 52
equipment failure is 35 unmanaged
external changes
35 again and then more than one of those
in 48
of cases so the thing i find interesting
about that when you look at all of those
outbreaks is that testing could catch
all of those it could catch a process
failure by detecting the bacteria in the
water or human error or equipment
failures
or unmanaged external changes so testing
i see
as a catch-all the real safety net of
the water industry
when it comes to legionella and it’s
it’s really imperative that that we test
in
in some shape or form and obviously
there are many different types of tests
we can undertake but i think it’s
imperative that we
that we do test now if i were to
download and look at the cdc
tool kit i’m fairly certain that i’m not
going to see
a comment that says you must test is
that a correct comment
that is correct it does actually say
that testing
is optional um and so
you know at the end of the day i think
this is you know
one of the areas that we need to uh talk
about more in the industry i mean
as i’ve said those all the causes of
those outbreaks could potentially be
caught
by testing it’s a real catch-all if
you’re doing regular
uh testing with solid um solid science
then
it’s got you’ve got the ability to catch
any of the problems that might be in
uh in the works there so i think it’s
it’s an imperative but
you’re right um the cdc toolkit really
focuses
i believe on uh law at a federal level
and
as it stands at a federal level there is
no requirement for testing
but like i say for all the reasons i’ve
outlined i think it’s uh
it’s just um it’s really best practice
for anyone that takes uh you know the
the risk of their
customers employees in the general
public seriously greg let me ask you
this
why wouldn’t somebody test what are some
of the reasons that somebody just says
you know i’m not going to do it
well i it’s funny you should say that
trace but one of the reasons i keep
running into
which i find slightly horrifying but i
keep finding it again and again when i
speak to people
is they say that they are they don’t
want to test
because they don’t want to have a
positive result on their desk
because then they would have to take
action and there would be some form of
legal responsibility upon them
and frankly i find that um you know
flabbergasting but it’s incredible how
many
uh people i run into that that say that
you know at the end of the day i would
argue that that is a failure of the
the design of their water management
plan because if they get that positive
result
their water management plan should be
extremely clear on what they need to do
next
and anyone who’s running a system where
they’ve got that level of doubt about
you know what they should do when they
get a positive test and
they’re just fearful of it uh obviously
they’re i would argue that they’re
taking chances with people’s lives by
avoiding it’s a bit of a head in the
sand approach but
you’d be surprised how often i come
across it when i speak to people in the
industry
well here in the states unless you live
in new york
it’s not law to have a water management
plan and even there it’s only dealing
with the cooling tower
so everywhere else it’s considered
optional because legislation hasn’t done
anything with it yet
so i’m willing to bet that there are
many people out there in the scaling up
nation that
have heard those very words i don’t want
to test because
i don’t want to find out i have to do
something about a positive so what
advice do you have to the water
treatment professional
that’s sitting across from a client that
gives them those words
well i would say that the uh need to
help them understand
a bit more about the the risk
generally um understand more about
legionnaires disease understand how
common it is i mean
one of the things that i find or you
know also
educative is if you look at the cdc
figures for
uh legionnaires disease across the
united states
say from 2000 to 2015 it’s gone up by
400 percent
in in that time period so you know there
might be a number of different reasons
for that uh growing quantity of
legionnaires disease
some of the ones that i’ve heard people
suggest are the fact there’s an increase
in autoimmune diseases there’s
uh an increase in immune suppressing
medications we’ve got an aging
population
there’s it seems to be climate change
with warmer weather and wetter
conditions
in some cases and and then of course
you’ve probably got better diagnosis but
in some ways that the cause of um
you know you know why we’re finding more
almost doesn’t matter because we’re
talking about 400
increase in our knowledge of risk to
people’s lives
and also in terms of reputational risk
litigation risk and so on
uh our rn customers are exposed four
times as much
to that now than they were in 2000 and
and
the interesting thing as well traces if
you look at that
that as a graph that kind of growth on
the cdc graph
and then you go across the atlantic to
europe
uh here and you look at the european
center for disease control that graph is
very very similar so we’re seeing a
global growth
in legionnaires disease so uh
and and with all the risks to both
people’s health
but also to our you know our customers
businesses
as a result of that so i would encourage
anyone having
those kind of tough conversations with
their customers to
you know help them understand about that
about that risk
um the you know the one of the papers
recently of research researched
legionellosis and released in
recreational waters
basically showed that you know that for
every outbreak there’s
uh about 11 cases of legionnaires
disease per per outbreak
so you know the impact on someone’s
business could be
very very significant legionnaires
disease is a is a nasty condition
obviously it can kill we know that but
it can cause long-term
and potentially life-changing health
effects in those that survive as well so
we really owe it to our customers
employees and the general public to
to help our customers understand how
they can
uh best be prepared to and make sure
that people
people just aren’t exposed to this
potentially deadly bacterium
i think that’s really well said because
i don’t think we have any customers out
there that truly want to hurt people
it’s just they don’t understand the
problem that we are asking them to
face for us to help them confront it
yeah
i think that one of the problems with
the traces i i think some people find it
difficult to talk about it because they
don’t want to feel
that they’re uh trying to trying to
scare their customer and
they’re they’re trying to kind of amp up
the fear and so on
but actually um when i talk about these
things i
literally just present the facts and um
to
uh customers and partners and you know
when you look at the research
and you look at the those figures i’m
talking about about the right the rise
in legionnaires disease
both in the united states and across
europe and how those figures mirror each
other
um you know just the bold facts really
do make the case
very very strongly that we whatever
we’re doing right now with that 400
growth
whatever we’re doing right now it isn’t
enough we need to be doing more whether
it
be in controls testing um or maybe
across the board we need to be doing a
lot more than
than we are doing right now and it’s a
fact that the uk
does a lot more than the united states
does when it comes to addressing
legionella i remember when i was over
there
matter of fact i was on our reindeer
tour and i met a gentleman that pulled
up in a
little car that was uh screen printed
and it talked about legionella testing
so what a great person to meet on a
reindeer tour right so we had a
conversation about how
different things were between the united
states
and in scotland and he could not
believe that it wasn’t a law he couldn’t
believe that we didn’t have to do
certain things and he said it was just a
way of life over there so
what i was hoping is that you could
maybe explain what are some of the
things that you guys are doing over
there
because we can probably expect that to
be here sooner if not later
sure so i mean one of the most
interesting things i think
and that’s been around for a long time
is the fact that anyone who runs a
cooling tower
in the uk has to register it in fact if
you go on to any local authority website
you can actually usually see a map and
see where the cooling towers are
so that’s public domain information each
of those
cooling towers has to be tested minimum
quarterly with a lab culture test and
live culture test only at the moment
and uh obviously there are standards and
more frequent standards
or recommendations to measure controls
and
keep and keep on top of the maintenance
of the cooling tower
as well and in fact trace it’s not it’s
not actually just
the uk in fact a lot of europe has this
in place as well
in fact there’s a uh there’s a federal
ordinance in
germany which is very similar they have
to
test the killing towers every quarter
and in fact legislation actually
suggests they
undertake bi-weekly tests in between
those quarterly tests
for uh chemical and microbiological as
well and in fact
we just had our test accredited for the
for use for microbiological regional
testing for that bi-weekly test
in in germany as well so across
um the whole of the uk and then even
across the continent
of europe we’re seeing some pretty
wide-ranging
uh activity to keep on top of
not only cooling towers but you know
water tanks and potable water water
systems as well
there’s a fair bit of legislation to
ensure that the water management
companies are
doing what they need to do to protect
people
and uh you’re right it’s it’s it’s it
certainly isn’t in
place in a lot of other places uh around
the world and i i know in the united
states
probably uh probably that’s in the works
i’m hoping i’m hoping it is because uh
it’s
it’s an important facet of uh that
overall protection and maybe we can get
that 400 percent
uh growth to level off rather than keep
going you mentioned with the quarterly
testing over in the uk
they will only accept lab cultures so
if you don’t mind can we talk a little
bit about testing and what does it mean
when you say lab culture
so lab culture testing i mean is
effectively
plating so filter the sample of water
getting the material from the filter and
then put that on a plate and incubate
that and in fact that’s
pretty similar to the method that dr
joseph mcdavid the cdc
made when he isolated the bacteria way
back in january 1977.
so this the methodology and the
technology for
um plating and growing legionella
legionella bacteria in order to
enumerate it to work out
what the color the volume in other words
what the number of colony forming units
of the bacteria were and say
a liter of water that technology has
been improving
and there are many many methods and
standards in places the
iso one one seven three one very well
known of course cdc zone standard
and then the standard methods uh sm 9260
j as well
um the thing i find interesting about
like culture testing is that you know
that there are so many
different standards obviously they’re
going to all perform uh
slightly differently so it’s important
for people to understand what that is
well but so one of the reasons that we
see lab culture testing in those
regulatory compliance frameworks
uh across the uk and across europe as
the core method is because it has been
around
um it is the kind of core scientific
method and you know the
the culture method is a good method uh
for ultimate quantification or typing of
serogroups and species and so on if
required because obviously you’re
culturing the bacteria so you’re growing
it so you’re getting
a greater volume of the bacteria upon
which you can perform other typing
experiments and so on so from that point
of view
it’s it’s very good but ultimately the
recovery rate
of that lab test is typically much
lower than well in fact our test or
pcr testing so one of the things
uh so you can get recovery rates
anywhere from 30
and by recovery rate obviously what i
mean is if you send
um a hundred samples that are all laced
with legionella pneumophila bacteria
send them all to a lab how many will the
lab
send back to you and say that they are
positive they send 100 back that would
be 100 recovery rate if they send
uh 30 back that would be a 30 recovery
rate uh they said that 30 of them were
positive
effectively it’s the the accuracy
obviously um
so you can see recovery rates vary from
say 30
which would be a non-iso pretty poor lab
up to about 80 at the very high end and
that would be
a real uh first class iso or cdc
standard lab
we’ll probably be able to get up there
but again even if you um
send samples to multiple different labs
who are all following the iso standard i
guarantee
you’ll get different recovery rates so
it’s worth bearing in mind
that that error is in there and the
other thing is if you actually look at
the iso standard the latest
version of the iso water quality
enumeration legionnaire document 11731
that says that they did a multi-country
intra-laboratory trial
as part of that study and the recovery
rate
they’ve documented in there is over 64
so the iso standard itself
says that 35 times out of 100 they’ll
come back with
a false negative so that’s
you on the facebook you say that’s kind
of worrying that’s what’s in the
legislation
that’s the core test the one that
everyone considers to be the gold
standard
it seems a bit odd that it it doesn’t
have a higher accuracy level
but then you start to look at it and say
why is it so low why is its recovery
rate low
a number of different reasons for that
that all of which are very interesting
and relate and some of them relate to
the fact that
such a fascinating bacteria so
legionnaire has a complex life cycle
it’s pleomorphic so it changes its its
shape and
size and its life cycle and style
as it as it goes through its life it’s a
parasite of amoeba
so it will actually invade an amoeba
replicate very rapidly when it exhausts
uh the resources of that amoeba the
growing legionella will actually
grow a tail at that point a flagellum
and they will exit the amoeba and begin
swimming in open water or through the
biofilm again in search of another
in search of another amoeba in order to
begin the life cycle yet again
and it’s in that phase that it is so
incredibly very
and incredibly dangerous because uh it’s
at that time if it’s inhaled
it will mistake one of your lung
macrophages for an amoeba it will invade
that lung macrophage and begin
replicating rapidly burst out of that
lung microphage
invade the next one and that’s how
legionnaires disease is caused
so it’s it’s very complex but obviously
it’s seeking an amoeba if it’s in that
form when it’s in the sample
it’s looking for an amoeba it doesn’t
it’s not going to find an amoeba
on a culture plate so clearly there’s
going to be some inaccuracy
um in that there then
the other thing is that other bacteria
will be in the sample no sample is
purely pure water and then just
legionella there will be other bacteria
and those can dominate the plate uh they
can uh
dominate and even predate on the
legionella in the sample of themselves
and the way that the iso standard allows
for
treating a place is it literally it’ll
be taken out after a few days
a physical subjective examination again
uh adding some variability depending on
the the the skills of the
the person in the lab but they’ll take a
subjective decision on
what is on that plate and which of the
bacteria don’t look like legionella and
then those can be
acid or heat treated in order to kill
those other bacteria to allow the
legionella to
to uh grow more effectively on the plate
within that lab culture test
obviously that acid and heat treat
treatment could potentially kill
legionella on the plate
thereby causing a low count or a false
negative
and then of course i’d mentioned viable
but non-cultural bacteria before
these have been proven to be able to
cause legionnaires disease and to kill
people
uh and yet when these bacteria which are
i’ll remind you are like a cyst-like
form when they are brought into a lab
culture
environment as the name suggests they
are non-culturable
they will never be detected by a lab
culture test
and then on top of all of this you’ve
got to add the fact that the live
culture test
can take 10 or more days 10 to 14 days
sometimes
to get a result which is too slow for
many applications imagine taking a test
of a decorative fountain in the lobby of
a hotel
how many people might walk past that in
14 days by the time you get the result
so that kind of 10 to 14 day gap is is
really quite worrying
because you’re either going to get a
positive result
and people have been potentially exposed
for up to you for 10 to 14 days to the
bacterium
or you’re going to get a negative result
which is effectively meaningless
because legionella bacterium can double
in population within 24 hours
so you could be getting a full sense of
security
or an answer that is just too late and
and that for me is
is why we need to you know low culture
testing is very useful
but ultimately when it comes to
microbiological testing i’m a big
believer that
you know water management professionals
need more than one information
point in order to be sure they uh know
exactly what’s going on in their water
system
and obviously your company has developed
a new way
to test for legionella and my
understanding is not to replace
the lab culture because that’s what the
municipalities that’s what legislation
is looking for to verify but this is for
more data
in between those is that a correct way
of saying that
yeah that’s right i mean trace that
ultimately
lots of regulatory compliance frameworks
still look to live culture
those frameworks uh often move at a
fairly glacial pace in terms of the
adoption of new technology
but you know so we’re not mandated
but the vast majority of our customers
use our test because it gives them a
result
immediately uh it gives them an
extremely accurate result we’ve got a
very high recovery rate
and um we’ve got a wide variety of tests
it operates very sim in a very
it’s a it’s a an antigen test the full
name is a
lateral flow immunochromatographic assay
so it uses
the antigen on the bacteria to detect
the legion of pneumonia bacteria
it looks very much like a pregnancy test
you apply 100 microliter sample to one
end and that sample can be
heavily filtered in order to get greater
sensitivity
and then once the sample runs and it
takes about 25 minutes for it to run on
the test exactly like a pregnancy test
if you’ve got two lines on the test
you’ve got a positive you’ve got one
line in the test you’ve got a negative
so
it’s very simple to undertake it’s very
fast you can take
uh actually multiple samples let’s some
of our customers would test
say 50 hotel rooms in an underused part
of the hotel
they’d be able to take those samples and
run all of those tests
um kind of in parallel so it’s it’s
extremely efficient
as well and so you know what it
what it does obviously is it gives you a
positive or negative
and so as a result of that you know it’s
important
that people have an action level what is
the action level you know
should should we be taking action a
hundred cfu elite if that in
eu legislation um a thousand cfu liters
take immediate action
for killing and ten thousand cfu elite
is a begin monitoring more deeply kind
of action level
so we have tests that will give you a
limit of detection we’ll we’ll actually
give you a positive at a hundred
one thousand ten thousand cf or a
hundred thousand cfu
so all of the orders of magnitude and
what that really does is it within 25
minutes
it gives somebody and a bit of
actionable data
so i’ve got a positive i know there’s
something not right here this
there’s definitely a heightened risk
i should take action on this system that
i’m testing
and and obviously so would you recommend
that somebody would take
a battery of tests with them for all the
different positive counts
and if they get a positive keep working
their way up yeah potentially that
that’s
it can be a good way of honing in on a
problem if you know you’ve got a problem
in a in a water system somewhere you can
certainly go
back you know back up the flow as it
were
in order to try and detect whether the
problem may be
happening to what you know maybe home in
on where that
dead leg might be in the system or or um
you know where where that problem may
actually be localized
that is certainly a good way to use the
test
and in fact uh again in an outbreak
situation because i test this so fast
it’s uh fantastic for kind of zooming in
when you look at some of the outbreaks
that keep unfortunately getting in new
york state
um using our test in that kind of
environment where you can
go in and just test all those cooling
towers and get an indicative
uh i you know cooling tower number four
looks like it’s got a serious problem
you know and get that indicative answer
very very quickly is obviously quite
important
now will using your test in new york
city satisfy
what the city or the state is looking
for when you look at regulatory
compliance frameworks
trace i mean typically they’re very
prescriptive about the type of test
that needs to be undertaken and it comes
back to that so the good example
actually is that federal ordinance in
germany
where so every quarter they insist on
that mandated
lab culture test and that’s your kind of
heartbeat
box checking if you will test that must
be undertaken
and so our test won’t fit into that
right now because as i say
regulatory compliance frameworks are
relatively slow to adopt new technology
but our test is a fantastic tool
for uh identifying risk where
you you think that then there may be
additional risk so like i say in germany
our test is accredited for use in that
kind of bi-weekly
test so quarterly they have to do a lab
culture test
but our tests can be used for the every
two week microbiological test that is
suggested within that ordinance
so our test has a role to play and would
be extremely useful
in new york is it mentioned in their
legislation right now
no but i would uh be very keen to work
with the authorities to help them
understand where it could fit because i
think it’s got a lot to offer
when you were speaking about the lab
culture you mentioned about false
positives and false negatives
what can be expected with your rapid
test
so our false positive rate is incredibly
incredibly low our recovery rate is over
80 percent
so much higher than lab culture testing
and
uh approaching pcr but
the false positive rate is
extremely low in the low very low single
digits
uh there’s and in fact there’s a couple
of
fairly rare and fairly esoteric um
biosized bygonides one of them that will
that will cause a false positive but
those are all documented
within the test so those can be um
eradicated
and shouldn’t you know should be used on
a system that uses something like bible
knight
so your recommendation is you know
obviously we have to follow the law
but in doing that now we have to
pinpoint
where that legionella is coming from and
obviously if we’re waiting 14 days for a
lab culture to come back
that it doesn’t make sense at all or if
we’re waiting
for the next series maybe we’re doing
quarterly testing or whatever
is written in that management plan this
is an intermediate test that we can do
to give us some more information to not
only help the public but also help us
better management the plan to
better manage the plan did i did i get
that right
yeah absolutely tracy i think one of the
key things to bear in mind there is when
you look at
regulatory compliance and this is
another conversation i
have with a lot of end users as well you
look at that regulatory
compliance framework you know i often
say to people um you know what
how much testing are you doing and they
say well what’s mandated by law
and uh they say i say so you’re testing
your killing tower
once a quarter and that’s it and they
they say and some of them some
many of them are doing a lot more than
that but some will say yes and and then
i say well
what happens if the uh gentleman that’s
doing your testing
uh is one day late and then you’re out
of compliance and you’re in a
world of potential litigation pain and
so
the kind of lessons i’ve taken from
speaking to a lot of people around the
industry and
the way a lot of people manage their
water systems is
it’s definitely best practice to you
know aim way above that regulatory bar
you know don’t just do the minimum
mandatory requirement of lab culture
testing
try and protect your you know protect
your
customers employees and and the general
public at a higher level than
than the minimum if you if you will and
that’s really where our test
is very good is for helping manage that
risk
and uh helping to raise the bar so that
you’re doing
a bit more than just checking the boxes
i think that’s a great point we all have
an obligation to make sure we’re not
only keeping people safe
but you know as somebody like me i don’t
own the equipment so i can’t make
anybody do anything
but when we do have more options we can
allow that client to make better
decisions
absolutely i can agree more trust greg
do you mind sharing some success stories
with your test
yeah sure trace i’ll give you a good
example we presented to a wide
number of local authorities across the
uk
last year and as part of that um
there was uh you know a lot of them were
very interested
in using the test in a wide variety of
different situations and we
gave out a number of free samples to
that group
and folks went away and then within a
few days actually
we got a call from a gentleman at one of
the local authorities
where he had undertaken our test in a
spa setting
it was a public spa uh heavily used he
got a positive on the spa
um i believe it was a biofilm swab
test of ours that you used and because
of that positive
result he closed that spot at that time
and he took a sample
and sent it to a lab uh two weeks later
he got the result back from the lab and
it was
in fact positive so i think
you know if if there’s if there’s one
success story i’d like to hear
it’s something where we’ve helped
protect people and
that’s a great example right there
[Music]
you know there was two weeks where
potentially if they just relied on a lab
culture test
they would have those folk any folk
using that facility would have
potentially been exposed
uh to legitimate so for me that’s a big
win
and uh obviously i think that really
speaks to the the speed of the test and
getting immediate actionable information
greg if somebody wants to find out more
information about your test where should
they go
in the united states we have a couple of
great partners right now
uh liverpool tentometer uh stock our
test and soda aqua phoenix
um so those are great partners of ours
but if you also want to just come to our
website and
read our blog and find out more about it
then if you go to hydrosense
hyphen legionella.com
and you’ll be able to find out
about it there or even just search
hydrosense on google you should find us
pretty quick
well i want to commend you for finding
new tools that we can use
to make our job better to make us
working with the customer better and
coming on scaling up and letting us know
some of those tools that are available
to us thanks very much trace it’s been a
real pleasure being on scaling up and uh
yeah hopefully speaking again soon
scout nation our job is all about
knowledge and the more knowledge we have
about the tools that we can use out
there
the better we are going to be in our job
and the better information we can spread
to people asking us questions about our
job so they can
ultimately make better decisions
i am glad that you are listening to
these shows i’m glad that you’re sending
in
your questions to me at the end of the
month
i am answering all of the
questions that i received about
legionella
so if you ask the question we are going
to get your
question answered so you can do that
very thing
become more aware of legionella and
share that information with somebody
that can make
better decisions folks i hope you decide
to tune in
next week when we are answering those
questions
and i also hope that you keep your
general questions coming
about what you want me to answer on this
show
i hope that you have decided that you
were going to
do something about legionella maybe it’s
how you’re educating yourself how you’re
educating your customers are just
something that you’re deciding that
you’re going to do
different so people do not have to
suffer with legionnaires disease because
we’re all making better decisions
out there until next week i hope
everybody out there stays safe and i
will talk to you next week
[Music]
scouting up nation on episode 136 you
heard from four members of the rising
tide
mastermind one of those members was eric
russo
and eric is an extremely busy individual
and i asked him the question how
he found the time and why he decided to
join the rising tide
mastermind here’s what he said like most
people in the water treatment industry
there’s always a struggle with work and
life and
i had a daughter on the way and i was
probably a little more mindful of how
much i was working
and how i can adjust my schedule or make
it in such a way that was sustainable
for my family
and this conversation is a little more
difficult when you don’t have people in
the water treatment industry because
they don’t understand the
travel aspect the service aspect the
technical
uh knowledge need to be successful it’s
a little
more difficult to balance that so to
have a group of like-minded individuals
to work through
with the goal of self-development it’s
really helpful to kind of hash through
those problems for me
have you ever noticed that if you want
something done
you give it to a busy person why is that
why do busy people
always seem to get something
done and we always wonder why but
there’s a secret to that
most busy people if they’re busy on the
right things it means that they
are successful and they’ve learned to
say
yes to the things that help with
their success however they define
success
think about that when was the last time
you thought to yourself how do i define
success well those are some of the
questions that we ask in the rising tide
mastermind and eric asked himself if i
joined the rising tide mastermind
will this make me a better husband will
this make me a better father will this
make me
a better water treater and eric has told
me that it has done
all of those things and he is sure glad
that he decided to join folks
i cannot say enough good things about
being involved in a mastermind group i
ask that you go to
scalinguph2o.com forward slash
mastermind to see if being a member of
the rising tide mastermind
is right for you and if you decide that
it
is not please find a group that is
right for you when we get together with
other people that
are concerned about everyone’s success
everyone gets better and the tide rises
all boats